FC Dallas’ playoff hopes took one to the chin on Saturday night. A 1-0 lead turned into a 2-1 loss at the Colorado Rapids, a painful six-point swing that is, no doubt about it, a blow to a team that had hoped to be making postseason plans by this point.
FCD are still just three points back of the Portland Timbers, and four back of the LA Galaxy. But with just six games remaining, any points left on the table count as an opportunity lost.
“If you look at your records from the last two games we played [against Colorado], the comment that keeps coming out of Oscar Pareja is we outplayed them and should have won,” head coach Schellas Hyndman told reporters after the match.
“Today I’ll take his quote: We outplayed them and should have won.”
FCD opened the scoring in the 51st minute on a nice sequence between Fabian Castillo, Jair Benitez and then David Ferreira for the goal. Hyndman said that the second-half adjustments of bringing on Blas Perez for Jackson and limiting the diagonal balls to Colorado’s Atiba Harris worked perfectly to contribute to more possession and subsequently, the goal.
“And then for 10 minutes, everything was going wrong,” Hyndman said of the period where the Rapids scored their two goals.
Dallas were a determined side after the second Colorado goal and completely dominated the match in the final 20 minutes, at one point racking up more than 90 percent of the possession over a five-minute stretch.
It turned out to be too little too late. Possession doesn’t necessarily equal goals.
“After they were up 2-1, we were all over them,” midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson told reporters. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get the goal to equalize the game. That’s how soccer goes sometimes.”
FC Dallas could have leap-frogged the Rapids in the tight race for playoff positioning out west. Instead, they now enter the last six weeks of the season focused on a game of catch-up.
For Hyndman, the fight’s not over yet, even if his team is woozy and backed into a corner.
“What we need to do now,” he explained, “is just keep our heads up and keep fighting.”